Does Tooth Sensitivity Mean You Have A Cavity?

You're going through your day, everything is normal, and suddenly it happens - a twinge in your tooth when you take a sip of something cold or hot. This sudden sensitivity can leave people panicking, primarily in fear of what it could mean. If you're worried that your tooth discomfort is being caused by a cavity, read this guide to find out if that's always the case.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity

Teeth always have feeling in them, even if you don't notice it. There are nerves in your teeth that send signals to the brain when they make physical contact with other things. When you bite down, chew, or grind your teeth, you can probably feel it, even if it's a dull sensation. This doesn't meant that the nerves in your teeth are weak, however; it just means that they're deep under the surface.

When your teeth become sensitive, it most likely means that something is coming into contact with the nerves in your teeth. When nerves are closer to the surface of the tooth or impinged upon by something like a cavity, you'll likely experience sensitivity first, and without care, eventually pain.

Cavity Verdict

So does this mean that you already have a cavity? Not necessarily. However, that doesn't mean that you should ignore the symptom.

If your tooth is sensitive and you don't have a cavity, that sensitivity is probably your last warning sign before your tooth becomes permanently damaged. Sensitivity without cavities is typically caused by thinning enamel on the surface of the tooth. When the enamel becomes too weak or wears off entirely, it puts the nerves closer to the surface without any hard layers between it and your other enamel-coated teeth. As a result, everything from biting down to drinking can hurt you.

What to Do

While you might not have a cavity now, that doesn't mean you won't in the future if you're not careful. Without enamel, your tooth is in danger from attacks from acid, bacteria, and plaque, all without the protective layer of the enamel on the outside of the tooth. If you don't have a cavity now, it's only a matter of time before you develop one or something even worse, like an infection of the pulp of the tooth.

To prevent anything worse from happening, get to a dental service right away. If your tooth doesn't have a cavity, your dentist will go to work protecting it from further damage. If you do have a cavity, treating it will be necessary. However, if you were quick about getting to the dentist after first feeling the sensitivity in the tooth, you'll probably be just fine.

Having sensitive teeth isn't something that anyone wants to go through. Remember to see your dentist regularly for check-ups to help reduce the risk of this happening to you on other teeth.